Independence Day Holiday in Gabon in 2024

Independence Day Holiday in Gabon in 2024
  How long until Independence Day Holiday?
Independence Day Holiday
  Dates of Independence Day Holiday in Gabon
2025 Aug 15, Aug 17
GabonSun, Aug 17National Holiday
GabonFri, Aug 15National Holiday (additional day)
2024 Aug 15, Aug 17
GabonSat, Aug 17National Holiday
GabonThu, Aug 15National Holiday (additional day)
2023 Aug 16, Aug 17
GabonThu, Aug 17National Holiday
GabonWed, Aug 16National Holiday (additional day)
2022 Aug 16, Aug 17
GabonWed, Aug 17National Holiday
GabonTue, Aug 16National Holiday (additional day)
2021 Aug 16, Aug 17
GabonTue, Aug 17National Holiday
GabonMon, Aug 16National Holiday (additional day)

First day of holidays to mark independence from France in 1960

When is Gabonese Independence Day?

Independence Day is a public holiday in Gabon on 16th and 17th August. These public holidays follow Assumption on August 15th to create a three-day break.

This is Gabon's National Day and marks independence from France on August 17th 1960.

The Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce mentions: “This holiday is widely celebrated throughout the country and festivities usually last for two days. Celebrations comprise official speeches, parades, drum shows, traditional dance and fireworks at La Place de Fetes. Friends and family gather together to enjoy traditional food such as nyembwe, fufu and Atanga with bread.”

Gabon Independence Day is a day of great significance for the Gabonese people. It is a day to celebrate their freedom and unity and to reflect on the country's past and look forward to its future. 

History of Gabonese Independence Day

The first Europeans to visit Gabon were the Portuguese in the late fifteenth century when Diego Cam explored the region. They gave Gabon its name when they named the mouth of the Como River as gabão, Portuguese for "cloak", after the shape of the estuary.

The French arrived in the region in the early nineteenth attracted by the slave trade. In 1839, local rulers in the coastal region signed away sovereignty to the French. The French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875 increasing French control and founded the town of Franceville in 1880. France officially occupied Gabon in 1885 and in 1910, Gabon became one of the four colonies of French Equatorial Africa.

During the Fourth French Republic (1946–58), Gabon became an overseas territory with its own assembly and representation in the French Parliament. In 1958 Gabon voted to become an autonomous republic within the French Community.

On August 17th 1960, Gabon gained its independence and became an independent republic joining the other three territories of the French Equatorial Union who also gained their independence in the same month.

The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba.

After the nation gained independence, France established a new dynamic with Gabon partly motivated by the West African nation's uranium wealth which was key to France's nuclear programme.

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